Motherhood talk - Period edition
I’ve never actually discussed periods with my daughter. Her knowledge about periods is from watching me have mine. And all of the knowledge I had about mine was from watching my mom. I grew up in a pretty strict Christian household so it’s not like it was talked about vaginas openly but my mom never hid it either.
My moms periods were also extremely intense and lasted 7 days so I don’t think they would’ve been a way to hide them if she wanted to. I remember her being down for the count due to cramps and opening the bathroom trash to see bloody tampons and pads and thinking it was gross, but also thinking it was part of what it meant to be a human.
Fast forward 25 years and making a decision to have an open dialogue with my now 7 year old daughter about her body. I am trying to be an open book with her, even more so than my moms strict Christian and Catholic upbringing could allow her to be. I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called Period that talks about women’s access to menstrual products in rural India. It’s about the shame associated with menstruation. Obviously conservative and under developed countries are going to have a different relationship with menstruation then developed countries because their relationship to menstruation is less scientific and more religious or cultural. The documentary did help me realize that people in general are still very far away from the ideal conversations we should be having with young women about their bodies all over the world. And so as I chose to raise my daughter to be a body positive and body loving young woman I find it important to talk to her about her body, menstruation and even sex in an open way- bringing in science, emotional and spiritual wisdom for more of a holistic approach to learning about her self. Menstruation is a normal, natural, sometimes painful and beautiful part of life and it’s absolutely nothing to be closed off about.